There are a lot of great success stories on the App Store from people who made games in their spare time striking it rich to the small but determined company finally making it. When people see these stories and hear the market size of Apple’s growing iOS market they may think that they too can be a App Store millionaire.
Sure, they have the chance to have great success on the App Store, but if you’re thinking of throwing your hat in the ring then you’ll want to check out a great write-up on Money and the App Store.
Myth #2: Making an iPhone game is fast and cheap
Compared to making Assassin’s Creed or Red Dead Redemption, this one is actually true. Making an iPhone game shouldn’t cost $50M and take 4 years. (Well, neither should a console game, if you ask me.) But unless you’re aiming for a Doodle Jump clone, it’s still a bit of work. If you make it cheap, you’ll have a very small team (say 2 people), and it’ll take AT LEAST six months to get something polished out there.
A quick estimate of an iOS game budget:
2 salaries x 6 months
A freelance contractor for sound design
A trip to GDC or some other event to meet journalists
Hardware to work on (a new computer, or a hard drive, or an iPad)
Some software licenses, because software devs need to earn a living, too
Maybe a website or a Dropbox account
You’ll do the QA yourself? All right then…
All in all, you can’t be serious about making games and “earning a living” out of it without at least a $40k budget. (And I’m really being cheap here; I think to be competitive today on the App Store you need $100k.)
It’s worth reading the entire article – particularly the conclusion.